They argue relying more on solar and wind power and energy efficiency is less expensive and wouldn’t pollute communities.
A recent analysis by BW Research Partnership concluded that an energy portfolio of solar, wind and efficiency could supply Michiganians with just as much electricity as DTE’s proposed natural gas plant, while creating 10 times more construction jobs and four times more permanent jobs along the way.
Opponents argue that DTE underestimated the future price of natural gas and failed to price out renewable energy resources and other electricity demand reduction strategies.
The company wants to build a $1-billion natural gas plant in East China Township in St. Clair County on a site where it currently operates a coal-burning power plant. Environmental groups oppose the plan.
Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton joins Doug Tribou to discuss the issues during this time of transition for the energy industry.
DTE Energy wants to build a natural gas plant near Detroit that could become a customer of a pipeline co-owned by one of its affiliated companies.
Even utilities are dumping coal. In Michigan, DTE Energy wants to shut down three coal-burning power plants and replace them with a billion dollar natural gas plant.
But environmentalists think there’s a better way.
Rather than saddle ratepayers with the long-term and unpredictable cost of a new natural gas plant, DTE should consider alternative options, including renewable energy projects like large-scale solar and even transmission solutions.
‘More renewables’ and ‘less coal’ means more gas, and DTE is big in the gas business.
“We urge the Public Service Commission to ask DTE Energy to do a better job considering the less expensive, cleaner alternatives to building a big, expensive natural gas plant.”
*Power Up Michigan Coalition Partner